Causes of Malocclusion
Do you or a loved one have a bad bite, and you’re looking for ways to correct it? When we’re looking at the child’s causes of malocclusion, or their bad bite, one of the things that we have to figure out is why is it a bad bite? Why aren’t they in a good path of dental-facial development? The causes of malocclusion can include genetics, something that you’ve inherited from your parents. They can include parafunctional habits. The best example is probably thumb sucking. There are outside forces that may influence tooth position in a bad way. The third type of problem we refer to as functional matrix. It’s actually the dynamics of the oral system. Poor dynamics can create severe malocclusions. Some of the things that we try to do is promote better dynamics.
A good example of a functional matrix problem would be a child that mouth breathes versus good nasal breathing. It’s very important to breathe through your nose if you want to promote good dental-facial development. When your lower jaw is relaxed and you’re breathing through your mouth because you may have an obstruction in the nasal fossa such as a deviation of the septum, you may have allergies, turbinates in the nose might be hypertropic. There’s also in the nasal pharynx, we talked about enlarged adenoids that can be obstructive. Any of the obstructions that you run into in the nasal fossa and the nasal pharynx that lead to high levels of nasal resistance are going to lead to a patient that might breathe through their mouth all of the time. When the tongue falls away from the palate and the palate collapses, that can produce crowding, which could lead to possibly impacted canines. We’re always referring to the upper jaw, the maxilla and the teeth as the door frame for the mandible. If something warps the door frame of the door, there is not any way that you’re going to be able to close it properly or it’s certainly not going to function properly. The same type of thing happens when we have maxillary deficiencies, an upper jaw that collapses because you are a mouth breather.
One of the things that we do a lot in the younger kids is try to develop the upper jaw so that we can create better relations between upper and lower jaws and upper and lower teeth as the child develops. Another problem can also be with respect to promoting a mouth breathing habit. More so at night than during the day is enlarged tonsils. We worry about enlarged tonsils, not because they may be infected. We’re concerned with tongue thrusting and also nighttime mouth breathing. I do have children that can breathe through their nose during the day. When they hit the pillow at night, they’re either breathing heavy or snoring and half the time can create just as much of a problem with a poor developing malocclusion as all the time.
Anything that we can do to facilitate better nasal breathing will always be in the child’s best interest, not only from dental-facial development but from a whole health medical perspective as well. It can affect their entire life. Sometimes we do a world of good for these kids just creating a situation where they’re starting to breathe through their nose which is important. They’re sleeping better. They’re growing better. It just affects their overall health. We pay a lot of attention to those types of problems in younger patients. Waiting until a patient is older and has all other permanent teeth is not acceptable in our practice. These kids should be receiving treatment when they’re young.
If you or a loved one is dealing with a bad bite and want to learn more about the causes of malocclusion and how orthodontic care can help correct it, please contact our office for a free consultation. We would love to help restore your beautiful smile.
Orthodontists Associates of Western New York is proud to offer braces for all ages throughout Buffalo, Lancaster, Olean, Hamburg, Orchard Park, and Dunkirk, East Aurora, and Niagara Falls New York. If you are considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or a loved one, please contact one of our 7 convenient orthodontic offices to arrange a free consultation.
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